Three parkruns in three locations this week

It could have been four in four locations.
For a brief moment just before midnight last night Dan and I discussed getting up for the Huntingdon parkrun at 9am before grabbing a hot drink and rushing over to Peterborough for their parkrun which began at the more sociable hour (for New Year’s Day!) at 10:30am.  Luckily, when we still hadn’t made it to bed by 1:30am we saw sense and decided to stick to just the one and opted for the extra sleep and Peterborough.  173 runners did make both parkruns though.  Well done all!

A week ago today Dan and I ran the Sheringham parkrun, then on Saturday I headed to Northampton with a handful of other club runners to support two of our own completing their 100th parkrun.

Sally and Paul 100th parkrun at Northampton

It was a really, really cold and windy day but luckily most of the course at Northampton is pretty sheltered – blocked by the houses alongside the path.  Eleven other runners from club ran, with several more supporting on the sidelines.  I had in my head that I wanted to run at approximately 9minute miles and to keep it an even race.  I want to slowly tick back with my running until I’m overtaking my previous PBs and I left on Saturday feeling very satisfied with my run.  I finished in 28:14, so not a PB (my current PB stands at 26:55) but that was never the plan.  I ran a consistent race – pushing hard but not too hard, saving enough energy to get round to the finish.  My splits were 8:59, 9:06, 9:20 and 8:19 for the nubbin.

100 parkruns - Sally and Paul

Finish position: 156/232
Female position: 34/75
Official time: 28:14

This morning at Peterborough it became clear very early on that it was going to be a busy one.  We arrived more than twenty minutes before the parkrun was supposed to begin and pulled into one of the very last spaces at Ferry Meadows.Car park at Peterborough parkrun

In actual fact there were 511 runners this morning!  It turned out many of the runners had been down to Huntingdon for the earlier run, and then headed back to Peterborough, bringing more runners back with them from that course for a second run of the day.  Obviously everyone has made New Year Resolutions to stay fit!  I was surprised at the finish to get a token displaying number 306 and when Dan finished three minutes after me he was given token number 403!  As we queued up at the finish to get our tokens scanned the lady infront of us mused whether or not there were enough tokens available to give out at the end.  I hadn’t even thought about that!

500 parkrunners at Peterborough parkrun

I tried to keep Andy, the guy wearing an orange t-shirt displaying the number 27 on the back in close sight.  I never seem to be at parkruns with appropriate pacers for me, so when it popped up on Facebook last night that there were going to be pacers for various times, including a 27 minute pacer, I was looking forward to taking the stress out of pacing and not worry about going out too fast.  I struggled to get near him at the beginning though.  There were so many people and I received several digs in the ribs from other runners jostling to find their place in the run early on.  At least we set off steady though.  I think we were running at 10 minute miles for a good while before the field spread out a little.

As we headed over the first bridge I felt very uneasy crossing it with another 30 or so runners.  The bridge was bouncing all over the place and it was very disorientating putting your foot down as the bridge popped up to meet it!  Normally there are only ever one or two other runners on the bridge at any time.
We looped back round and there were still runners running off the path in the muddy bank to either side as there wasn’t enough room on the path for everyone.  I was to the far right just on the edge of the path and a woman to my right loudly said “I can’t run on here!” and put her arms out to push me aside and let herself back on!  I got caught behind two ladies with prams here and I could see Andy slowly drifting further and further away.  There was no where to get past for quite a while and I could feel my stride getting short and choppy – making me feel uncomfortable.  I made the decision to drop back a little.  Take the pressure off and back away from the high volume of runners in the 27-28 minute bracket.  I instantly felt more relaxed although I still wouldn’t have been able to put my arms out to the side without hitting someone around me!

Me at Peterborough parkrun(Picture taken from the Peterborough parkrun page.)

A little bit of a kick up the finishing hill to see that there was no space in the finishing funnel for more runners.  I kind of slid to a stop just by the tape and hoped no-one hit me from behind!  About fifteen of us stood in a huddle at right angles to the funnel with no-where else to stand and more runners blocking up behind us before the Race Director stretched the tape out for a longer funnel.  My splits were 9:08, 8:45, 9:04 and 8:28 for the little nubbin which ended up being 0.2miles.

Finish position: 306/511
Female position: 77/205
Official time: 28:44

My seventeenth parkrun.  Dan and I have both decided we would like to push for our fiftieths this year.  Only 33 to go!

Dan and Me at parkrunOnce again this year I shall be joining in with Janathon and Jantastic.  For those that aren’t aware, Janathon involves running or exercising every day in January as well as blogging about it.  Jantastic is run by the guys at Marathon Talk and is all about setting targets – in January the number of runs you complete each week, in February the number of runs and the distance of your longest run.  March gets you to predict a race time as well as setting targets for the number of runs and distance of runs.  I completed Jantastic last year and it was a great motivator to ensure I got all of my runs in each week.  Janathon is great at ensuring I complete some strength work and also motivating to look back on my blog posts and see what I have achieved over the whole month.

Did you run any festive parkruns?
Will you be taking part in Janathon/Jantastic?


12 thoughts on “Three parkruns in three locations this week

  1. Nice work :)
    I did a parkrun this morning- new years day. There was another one near me at 10.30, which my dad and brother did, so we did both between us! As I am easing back in I didn’t think I could take two in a day, plus I was pretty hungry, and only got home at 10 so driving in the other direction would have made time pretty tight.
    I have done 26 now- I can’t decide whether to aim for 50 this year or not- I wanted to do 25 by Christmas (which I managed) but I have been doing them on and off for a year and a half. We shall see how the first half of this year goes.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…White towns, grey rocks, blue skiesMy Profile

    1. Good family team work! :) I’m not sure I would have known how to pace two in one day with a break in the middle so I’m glad we stuck to the one in the end, although it would have been a fun rush between the two if we’d gone for it!
      Well done again for your 25 by Christmas. I’m not sure Dan and I will make 50 by the end of 2015, but we plan on ticking a big chunk off towards that 50 t-shirt mark! Like you, it realistically depends on how the first half of the year goes.

  2. You did so well to keep your calm in such a busy set of races. It’s a shame other people are so inconsiderate though, as ever. I probably would have freaked out and shoved that woman into the mud by accident…

    Those are some solid times too ~ I’m sure you’d be in the 26-7 bracket if it hadn’t been so jam-packed :)
    Jess recently posted…Ice, Ice Baby 2014My Profile

    1. I was really annoyed at that woman. Really not friendly at all, and at a parkrun as well…it wasn’t like she was winning a marathon major or anything! Parkrun is all about the community. Dan’s comment was similar to yours when I told him about it at the finish line.
      I felt like I could have pushed much harder but was so happy with my consistency and not giving up which became a real issue at the start of last year. I know I’m heading back towards PB territory and I’m hoping to tick off a few more this year! :)

  3. I went to Cardiff parkrun for new years and thankfully it was less busy than normal so managed a pb, I might go again tomorrow before I head back on London. I want to try and get to more London parkruns this year. I will be doing Jantastic, hoping it goes better than last year when I got injured!
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…2015 Goal SettingMy Profile

  4. Nice work! And wow that is A LOT of people running! We get like 150 tops for our local parkrun normally.
    Some crazy people in my running club did a 9am parkrun, then ran to the other one nearby for 10.30am and achieved a cool 13.2 miles! Uber jealous but hey ho. I hope this year I can get my 50th t-shirt (I’m pretty sure I can as long as nothing terrible happens – I only have 7 to go). But for now running is taking a back seat while I get my head in order.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…New Year – new me? {And a giveaway!}My Profile

    1. I’m not sure if there is an upper limit of people allowed to run at parkrun but on Thursday they had to crack open a new pack of barcodes for the finish line.
      Your New Year’s parkrun sounds more epic than ours…13.2 miles?! Ours was just 2x parkruns with a car journey inbetween. Hope they got a good mention in the weekly newsletter!
      Seven is very much achievable this year. Even if you’re not really running you could offer to be back runner or pace a time again – take the pressure off a little.

    1. Print out that barcode and rope a friend in to do it together. I love the concept of parkrun – it’s a great tracking tool to see how you’re progressing.

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